Home Forums OS X Server and Client Discussion Backing Up Disaster recovery techniques and questions for Xserve’s

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    We are reviewing our backup and disaster recovery tools. Currently we are using Netvault for our servers and Retrospect for our laptop users. Retrospect backups to a raid, Netvault backs up the Retro archives as well as the rest of our servers to an LTO4 tape library.

    Recent HD failures on our Intel Xserve’s has shown that NetVault’s system restore process is not working for us on the Intel Xserves, the same process works fine on our PPC Xserve’s. After talking with NV support we were instructed to install a matching OS updates and all, and then install all applications and then the Netvault client and then begin our restore. We are looking for a more streamlined method, preferably only requiring a minimal system install previous to the restore. I’m curious as to what other admin’s are doing for disaster recovery:

    What is the fastest least disruptive method you have for getting an Xserve ready to receive a restore starting with a blank drive? Do you maintain another serial number, have a special minimal image that you use?

    We are looking closely at BRU. Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with the software? Especially in regards to system restores.

    Any other input on backup software that’s worked for you environment for restoring server systems under duress?


    Online clones provide the fastest possible restore, and are also easy and inexpensive. They also help with system updates; if an update goes bad, you can just reboot from a clone and move on.


    I’ve had success backing up OSX server with rsync and then creating an ASR compatible image with hdiutil. This image can then be deployed to a blank disk either through DeployStudio or just boot up from a DVD/NetBoot and use ASR manually. Works great for disaster recovery.

    I would recommend stopping any databases like Open Directory or MySQL while doing the rsync. Check out Bombich’s rsync tips for the correct options to get a 1:1 copy.

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